Double Trouble: Peter Doocy, Wife Hillary Vaughn Take on Jean-Pierre Over Biden’s Economy

White House Principal Press Secretary (ex-MSNBCer) will host The Psaki show on Thursday. Karine Jean Pierre filled in, but it wasn’t an easy day as she faced incoming fire from not only Fox’s Peter Doocy, but Doocy’s other half in wife Hillary Vaughn of the Fox Business Network as the two brought the heat with hardballs on inflation, the supply chain crisis, and our country’s overall economic malaise.

Doocy began with immigration and wanted to know whether it’s “a coincidence”This “the year Joe Biden was sworn in as President promising more a humane immigration system is the same year that an all-time record 1.7 million migrants have been detained at the southern border.”



Jean-Pierre gave a long answer that amounted to nothing because she didn’t want to “get ahead of” the Department of Homeland Security’s upcoming release of September border crossings.

Although it was a failure (with Jean Pierre giving another word-salad), Doocy attempted a new approach using a rhetorical query colleague Bill Melugin thought of often when reporting from the border.

And you’re telling people not to come. That’s been the line for a couple months. It’s been very well documented that a lot of these migrants are just released with a notice to appear or a notice to report and that something close to 80 percent don’t appear or report, so do officials around here consider the fact that could be something as attractive to migrants who figure, “if I could just get in, I could stay?”

Doocy then moved to inflation and posed the idea to Jean-Pierre that it’s served as “a new tax” for Americans making under $400,000 a year despite Biden’s promise that their taxes wouldn’t go up under his economic proposals.

Jean-Pierre was dumbfounded. Doocy reaffirmed the obvious. “Well, the supply chains is all backed up. The supply chains are backed up. There are shortages and empty shelves. Prices are rising, so people pay more. And so, how is that any different than a new tax?”

Following Jean-Pierre’s shameless attempt to defend the inflation as proof that the Biden economy is working, Doocy kept pressing (click “expand”):

DOOCY: To that point, the majority leader — or the minority leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, wrote a letter to the President. He says, “we must address the global supply chain before Congress even considers additional social spending and taxation legislation.” Is that something that you would consider?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, here’s the thing. Jen responded to — this is the letter — the letter         from McCarthy —

DOOCY – Mmhmm.

JEAN-PIERRE: — we’re talking about. Yes. Wonderful letter. She replied to my earlier letter and I’ll add a few more. It’s — I already kind of talked about this, but there’s a little bit more that I want to lean into. The Trump-McCarthy Economy meant that fewer Americans had jobs last year. This is exactly what I was referring to. The rate of job growth had slowed and families faced a winter without economic security and an epidemic that was out-of control. That was the holiday season under the McCarthy-Trump — holiday season. So, that’s something to remember. It was different a year back. Fast forward a year and nearly 80 percent are now vaccinated. We’ve created five million jobs. Americans have money in their pockets and they’re spending it resulting in a record volume of goods through our ports and our roads and rails. Kevin McCarthy, his caucus and others voted against that bill. They did not do anything to help the American public when we needed them — when the American public needed and I’m talking — 

DOOCY: So — 

JEAN-PIERRE: — about the American Rescue Plan. 

DOOCY: — I understand —

JEAN-PIERRE: — to be clear, which has helped — which has helped turn on the economy which helped. As I mentioned, ensure that everyone is vaccinated in order to safeguard their health and get back to work. 

Jean-Pierre may claim otherwise. Doocy however closed by stating what is obvious to all who pay attention.

[A]s you compare holiday seasons — this year to holiday season last year — are you saying that if Christmas gifts don’t get delivered this year because the supply chain is backed up, because of bottlenecks, that people are going to blame Donald Trump or are they going to blame Joe Biden?

Skip ahead to the very end of the briefing and Vaughn played the role of closer, starting with a takedown of Jean-Pierre’s claims during the briefing “that unemployment’s down, wages are up, and that [it’s] a testament to the progress that President Biden has made on the economy, but there’s no mention of inflation in that and while wages are up, almost 40 percent, inflation is up five percent.”

“So, any bump in pay that people are seeing in their paycheck is getting wiped out when they go to the store and paying more…[W]hat do you say to people who are looking at their budget and they’re saying, “this doesn’t feel like progress under President Biden. It feels a pay cut,’”She was curious.

Jean-Pierre insisted that Biden “knows how even a small price increase really can squeeze too many families,” but she went onto site a laundry list of administration accomplishments that have supposedly prevented the situation from becoming worse.

A few Trump digs later, Vaughn’s other question dug deeper with specific examples (click “expand”):

VAUGHN: Quickly on the supply chain, you know, there’s a lot talk about Christmas presents not arriving on time, but the issue is more severe and critical than that. I mean, it’s affecting small businesses. So auto body shops cannot get parts for cars to repair them, and they don’t have the money to make it. 90 percent of school nutrition programs say they’re worried about continued supply chain issues, according to a school nutritional association survey. Some schools make last-minute trips to the grocery store in order to provide food for their students. The White House is aware that this issue has been a problem since February. It seems like the problem is getting worse and not improving.

JEAN-PIERRE: I would — I would say this. When it comes to the supply chain, it’s — there are complexities there. When you think about, you know, the — we learn about the global supply chain as well, right? Those are — that’s one thing that you kind have to put it — in the bigger picture. This is why it’s a complicated system and private sector coordination is necessary to make improvements and eliminate backlog. And that’s what we are seeing currently as we talk about the supply chain. These are just some of the players in the game: there are port directors, terminal operators, ocean carriers, railroad truckers, warehouse — warehouses, and retailers. We can’t forget about the consumers, who are experiencing a record-breaking level of demand due to our historic economic recovery. We have the forecasters — economic forecasters did not see — did not think we would be where we are today. This has all been exceeded. We have seen an historic economic recovery. Is there still more to be done? Absolutely. That’s why we’re trying to get this Build Back Better plan, but the Biden administration, as it comes to the supply chain, continues to serve as an honest broker. I mentioned before this, making sure that they — we find areas of collaboration to ensure we can move goods — movement — supply chain toward a 24/7 model. You know the President is aware. The President understands what every American feels, and how it is affecting their daily lives. That’s why he’s working every day to make sure that we pass his economic policies.

Elsewhere in the briefing, NBC’s Peter Alexander called out the administration’s harebrained spin that the cost of the Build Back Better agenda is zero dollars and Brian Karem demanded Biden hold another press conference (though it’s safe to say it was more to stoke his own ego).

In contrast to The New York Times’s Michael Shear wondering if Martin Luther King Jr. would be disappointed with Biden for not eliminating the filibuster, other constructive questions included CBS News Radio’s Steven Portnoy highlighting the kidnappings and assaults at the border as a result of this year’s crisis and, last but not least, CNN’s Phil Mattingly pressing for a response to China’s reported capability of nuclear weapons that could go into space.

You can view the pertinent transcript for October 21’s briefing by clicking here

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